May 28th, 2010
01:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Sestak confirms White House account

Sestak released a statement Friday.
Sestak released a statement Friday.

(CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak is confirming the statements in the  White House memo released Friday morning, saying former President Bill Clinton reached out to him about a potential unpaid position in the Obama administration:

"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background," Sestak said in a statement. "He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives."

Full Sestak statement after the jump:

"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

"There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families."


Filed under: Joe Sestak
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Brian in MD

    I think someone's pants are on fire in the WH.

    May 28, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Marlene

    So, Joe Sestak's coy previous answers were just a form of "payback" for not being supported by the Administration. If that is the truth, then poor leadership and judgement on the part of Mr. Sestak

    May 28, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Tayo

    So where is the smoking gun then? Mr. Sestak, I will advice you to focus on the general election and not allow the Party of NO to distract you from your main goal. The people of Pennsylvania deserve bettter!

    They deserve you and you cannot afford to let them down!!

    May 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Steph

    I bet conversations like this happen all the time, on both sides of the aisle. Can you imagine the conversations Spector had with both sides before deciding to become a Democrat or when Congressman Parker switched from Democrat to Republican? Seriously, this is nothing.

    Heck people in the private sector negotiate to keep someone with specific skills in a job all the time!

    May 28, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Mike Rakowsky

    What is with CNN's obsession w/this total non-story???!!! This is positively ludicrous! Sestak didn't change, got nominated, and discussions and horse trades happen all the time. Looks like the Repugs and Issa have your number and are pulling your strings!!!

    Better impeach Ronald Reagan-he offered an Ambassadorship to SI Hayakawa to try to dissuade him from running for US Senate from California when HIS OWN DAUGHTER was already one of the candidates!!!

    This is, quite simply, one of the stupidest, silliest things I have seen on tv in a long time. You are killing your credibility with idiotic crap like this. What-do Joe Scarborough and Darrell Issa call your shots??? Sheesh!!!

    May 28, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Ron

    Yes, that's it....Let's all scramble and get our stories right so we don't have to go to jail. These people broke the law (a felony) and will try to cover it up. Keep it up. Remember: Nixon was impeached NOT because he was involved in Watergate (he wasn't) but he was impeached because he LIED and tried to cover it up. Of course the Democrats are excellent at lying and covering things up (aka "I did not have sexual relations with that woman Monica Lewinsky") but the more the Obama administration try to cover this up the bigger the hole they are digging for themselves. This is going to be QUITE interesting to watch unfold. I wonder who is going to thrown under the bus to try and deflect blame from Obama and his senior administration.......

    May 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Obama the liar

    "unpaid position"-no such thing in this obma regime, sooner or later we will all be paid and i'm afraid it's going to be socialistic.

    May 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Oh * gasp * they offered Sestak a JOB?! get real

    Never mind the fact Bush/Cheney kept lying about Iraq to justify invasion.
    Ooopsie Daisy! Thousands of Americans sacrificed their lives and got severely wounded for life so Bush/Cheney could hook-up their pals with no bid contracts and corporate welfare for Black Gold.

    May 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Independent Joe

    Liberals crap stinks just as bad as conservatives. Vote independent!

    May 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Bob Of Lompoc

    Why is this an issue? The WH, through F/POTUS Clinton, asked Sestak to stay out of the race. He declined. Then he won. End of story. Except for the whipping he will put on Toomey in November.

    May 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Duck Fallas

    This is a national nightmare. How will the Republic survive? Impeach Obama. Impeach Clinton. Impeach Sestak. Impeach Specter.
    Impeach everybody.

    May 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Enough

    The Democrats are above the law, so where's the change and transparency promised by Obama? This isn't business as usual, this is in your face we will do what we want.............and too bad for the American people. Obama is out in 2012, nobody can be fool enough to vote for this sucker again.

    May 28, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Mountaineer

    Much ado about nothing from both the media and the Republican Party. Don't never let it be said that both parties play that game when they fear an incumbent about to lose their seat or in a tough election campaign . I could see illegalities if money changed hands for a job that offered monies or bribe was given. But to offer a person and advisory board job with no pay – that's a no brainer. When Rep. Specter is out of office, he can sit on the advisory board. Maybe they would even want to pay him to sit on the board. That would be nice!

    Stop stirring up the trash and get busy taking care of the mess the republicans have placed our country in. We have 2 wars, working on #3, an economy gone to pot, financial mess, and Big Oil and Big Business destroying our coast line and using our illegal immigrants for slave labor. And your worry is whether or not Sestak is offered an advisory board, no pay position. This is pathetic media coverage!

    May 28, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. dale

    Democrat sleezbag politics.
    All freaking liars. Can't wait for Nov

    May 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Hwy91

    And this is what the GOP is getting their panties in a bunch over? Give me a break.

    May 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Martin

    Wonder what they offered him for that statement.

    May 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Wake up America!

    This is the best story they can come up with.
    They picked Bill as the fall guy since he's the only guy around who can take a fall and not worry about losing anything. He might even gain popularity with the right spin on this.

    Politics makes you want to puke. The lies from this administration just don't end.

    The worse part is the dumb cnn viewers will actually believe this crap. Next, they'll go after the republicans for pushing this issue and spin it that way. Just wait to see that spin coming.

    Wake up America!

    May 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. andy

    Of course Sestak waited for the white house. One lie to cover another.

    May 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Tina

    So what big deal!! Republicans are number one in dealings like this, that is if it is true. No harm done. This is politics. And GOP's are very good in very dirty politics so they think others are like them. If anything at all democrats are copying them.

    May 28, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You see, WE know how to circle the wagons ALSO!

    Sorry, Rethugs, there might be something to see here, but YOU won't get to see it. Move along!!!!!

    BWAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    May 28, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. SocialismBad

    former President Bill Clinton reached out to him about a potential unpaid position in the Obama administration

    Sestak said in a statement. "He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives."
    ===================================================

    What complete and utter BS! How can a sitting US Congressman (part of the legislative branch of government) SIMULTANEOUSLY serve in the Executive branch of government?!

    So the President can co-opt any legislator by offering them an unpaid advisor role in the Executive branch?! If this is not illegal and improper it is certainly UNETHICAL.

    The Justice Dept and FBI need to start investgating AND TAKING SWORN DEPOSITIONS.

    May 28, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Eric in Denver

    Even the most far left wing crazies out there will find this one hard to believe. This white house is so crooked and corrupt!!!!! Impeach the liar in chief please before this country becomes a European nation.

    May 28, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Minnesotan

    I thought this was supposed to be some sort of whitewater moment or like the outing of Valerie Plame. Boy how conservatives must be disappointed that their trumped up charges of malfeasance have fallen flat. Similar to the whole 50million dollar investigation into the Clinton's over a decade that turned up nada, zilch.

    May 28, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This conversation with Clinton was prior to Sestak entering the race. Sestak stated on May 27, 2009 he considered entering the race for Senator and made his announcement to enter the race August 4, 2009. There is nothing illegal here and Republicans again have fallen for another Democrat trap when they should be focused on the mess they keep finding themselves in. When will they learn.

    May 28, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. justin

    Now we can move on, John king and wife Dana bash running America!

    May 28, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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